The holiday period is a great chance to unwind, spend quality time with family or friends and, if we’re lucky, travel somewhere new and exciting.
Unfortunately, travelling can damage the environment we’re visiting, sometimes in surprising and unexpected ways. For example, a recent study found oxybenzone, a common ingredient in sunscreen, is toxic to young corals at a concentration equivalent to just a drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!
And with between 4000 and 6000 tonnes of sunscreen estimated to enter coral reef areas around the world each year, this adds up to a serious problem. “Current concentrations of oxybenzone in these coral reef areas pose a significant ecological threat,” said the study’s co-author, Dr Omri Bronstein from Tel Aviv University.
So how can we make sure that when we travel our desire to live responsibly doesn’t get left at home? We’ve pulled together a selection of resources that will help you make wiser travel choices this summer:
We hope this list gives you a good start and the inspiration you need to look for more planet-friendly travel options this summer. Not only will you reduce your impact on our environment, but we reckon you’ll have a more enjoyable experience, and so will those coming after you!
And what about sunscreen? The good news is that you can get biodegradable organic sunscreens that will protect your skin just as well, but don’t contain the harmful chemicals that can contaminate our rivers and oceans.